Neurofreak’s Lumosity Brain Training Review

I’ve been obsessed with trying to train my brain in one way or another. I’ve done neurofeedback, and tried a few different brain game products. Originally my favorite was brainbuilder, because it used reverse digit span training. I played this game obsessively. An hour or more a day at times. I got my reverse digit span up to about an average of 13 before I stopped.

A lot in my life has changed since then, but what I realized recently when discussing with a friend is that I can literally trace back an enormous amount of personal changes I made to that period of time I was doing brain training. It hadn’t occurred to me at the time that it made that much of a difference, but I think it did. In fact, there’s a study that shows that merely causing people to think quickly makes them feel happier, and more self-assured.

So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that making an effort to speed up my brain would’ve made me happier and more productive. But nonetheless it has, and it’s made me want to go back to what I was doing. So when I heard of “Lumosity” on developing intelligence’s blog recently, I couldn’t help myself. I had to check this new brain training site out. They had a 14 day free trial, and I figured that’d be enough to get a grasp of just what it has to offer.
Web's Best Brain Games

Things I Like
They have a free trial.

They seem to have a good staff, they’ve provided a little research (the control group was tiny though — I’d like to see more), and they have some really basic cognitive games — which I like — the stroop test.

I like the BPI or “Brain Performance Index,” which essentially allows you to compare your score to some 50,000 other runs of the same game by other people. This probably sealed the deal on getting me to try the game out — it let’s me see how I compare to other people. I’m a guy — I’ve got to get my kicks by having a cognitive pissing contest.

The games definitely seem to do something. I feel more energetic, and my head feels swollen after a good hour run or two.

Things I’d Like To See Improved
I’d like to see more research. Maybe even research for the individual games. This may be asking a bit much though, so in the absence of that…

I’d like to be able to invite friends and compare scores. I’d like to literally be able to compete. In order for me to get addicted to a game like this I either need to be really, really, really, really convinced it’s going to enhance my life by solid research… or I just need to enjoy one-upping my buddies. The BPI gets me close to that, but not close enough.

I’d like to see a game that’s similar to the brainbuilder’s reverse VERBAL digit span. Which means, in brainbuilder I had to HEAR the digits, and then TYPE them backwards. I really don’t see an equivalent to this game on there. I think it’s important, because it requires me to use my ears. Then again, I’ve not finished all 30 sessions yet so maybe just such a game exists.

Bragging Time!
Okay, so I’ve gained about 200 of their “lumosity” points, and completed 12 sessions in the last five days. I’ve played it… a lot. Honestly, it’s mostly because I’ve been a little down lately, and wanted to see if it’d get me cranking. I’m in a pretty good mood so I think it’s working!

My scores are pretty awesome… I’ve already got 3 scores that have broke the 1,000 range (the top BPI you can get is 1,250). My best one, interestingly enough, is the stroop test! Sitting at a BPI of 1,180. I want to get at least one score maxed out within the next month. That’s my goal… and yeah, I’m going to go ahead and sign-up for their brain gym.

I’d really like to see some SOLID research on the effects of memory training or any of these other “brain games” on depression, and anxiety. I have a hunch there’d be some awesome results, but I want to see some science.

Also… Lumosity has a blog. Check them out.


58 thoughts on “Neurofreak’s Lumosity Brain Training Review

  1. Dear Ken ,
    I greatly appreciate all of your detail with your comments about likes and dislikes. This is really helpful . Thankyou very much!

  2. Hey Just one thing: you made a mistake when you said the highest BPI you can get is 1250 , I somehow managed to get 1373 in Lost in Migration with 60 right answers and 100% of my answers being right , (btw as you can obviously, tell I’m also excessively competitive :P ) so set your sights higher :)

  3. Actually change that, I’m guessing that might have been my score and not the BPI, since its giving no such indication now. Sorry for the misconception :)

  4. look up lumosity games on youtube and notice how they shatter your 1250 ceiling. My lowest bpi category is 1400(speed). My first time playing raindrops I got ~1300 bpi give or take. Not to mention I have adhd.

  5. I agree 100% about including more competition among friends. That’d be a great feature for motivation.

    I’m mostly curious at how high their BPI ceiling is. My top BPI score is currently 1539 in Problem Solving. That further lists me in the 99th percentile, so I figured that 1600 would be the cap, ala the old SAT, but graphing my history on their iPhone app shows a max of 1700.

    Any idea?

  6. Nice scores, I’ll be honest and tell you I didn’t read this whole post, just a quick 30 second scan, I didn’t absorb too much else that interested me. eyeq is something you should check out next. reading and the eye brain connection is essential, but not just for eye performance, for multitasking (one of those things that only exists if you believe it to be possible).

    Going to read another post now.

  7. Dear Ken – I had a horrible day with severe depression and I did some yoga which usually helps, but things had been so bad for about two days that it didn’t help enough. I ten played about an hour’s worth of lumosity games and the depression is gone. I kept forgetting to do this and no longer will I sit around wondering what is wrong or what to do about it. I will play lumosity games. I think it activates all kinds of things and gets the focus back to the frontal lobe as depression can be emotionally heavy to deal with after a while and all that heavy energy gives me an amygdala headache of sorts after a while. so it does work. Glad to see it helps others as well.

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